Watermelon: a potential new source of renewable energy

by Antonio Pasolini on August 28, 2009

I love watermelons – I mean, they are one of the most delicious, thirst-quenching fruits I know of. And now it seems they can be used to produce biofuel as well. At least, that’s what an article in the new issue of Biotechnology Biofuels magazine says.

Apparently, 20% of watermelons are left in the field because they are unsuitable for sale (spots, bad shapes). Add to that the fact that watermelon juice contains 7 to 10% directly fermentable sugars and 15 to 35 umol/ml of free amino acids, then is shows great potential as feedstock, diluent and nitrogen supplement.

Reuters has picked up on the story and wrote that the watermelon juice can be fermented and used directly or supplement with other biofuel crops. Elsewhere, the British Daily Telegraph wrote that “the study discovered that watermelons could produce around 20 gallons of fuel per acre from fruit that otherwise would go to waste.”

In any case, it sounds like a great way to use a huge amount of wasted food stock.

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